Barbara Heller: Autumn Music

Wergo: WER51232

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Barbara Heller: Autumn Music



Catalogue No:




Release date:

2nd Dec 2016





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Barbara Heller: Autumn Music

Heller, B:

Patchwork – String Quartet No. 3

La Caleta – String Quartet No. 2

Streichquartett (1958)

Eins für Zwei





Lalai – Schlaflied zum Wachwerden?

Verdi Quartett


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Born in Ludwigshafen in 1936, the composer Barbara Heller is addicted to sounds. The search for sounds – lost, buried, undiscovered, or previously unnoticed – shapes her life. She has no choice: 'Composing for me means finding my own filter for the permanent flood of sounds, both within and without. Listening, imagining, and discovering music is like building a bridge between the material and the immaterial worlds'.

This CD presents a small portrait of the sounds Barbara Heller has found for string instruments. It opens with her third string quartet, Patchwork , from 2008. Playfully flowing figures, often in pizzicato, alternate with static layers of sound. Conceived by Heller as a study in tritons, the pitch material consists throughout of whole-tone relationships.

Heller’s second string quartet, La Caleta , was written in November of 2008. 'A coming and going…' is how Heller describes the essence of this work. She was inspired by the calm, gentle, and steady movement of waves on the beach of a small bay on the island of La Gomera, one of the Canary Islands.

The more substantial String Quartet No. 1 was written in 1958 at the end of Barbara Heller’s time as a student at the Music Hochschule in Mannheim, where she studied with Hans Vogt. In terms of sound, this is an entirely different universe from the works written in 2008. The final work on this disc is Lalai – Schlaflied zum Wachwerden? ('Lalai – lullaby for an awakening?'), one of Barbara Heller’s best known and most performed works. The expressive power of its simple folksong melody makes Lalai a sensitive and multifaceted portrait of human feeling.

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